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CIVIL RIGHTS Suit over man’s death in custody settles for $6.5M Cincinnati (AP)-The city of Cincinnati has agreed to pay $6.5 million to the family of a man who died in police custody. Roger Owensby Jr., 29, died in November 2000, shortly after his arrest outside a convenience store. Police said they wanted to question him about drug trafficking. Attempting to run away, Owensby was tackled by several officers, struck several times, forced to the ground and placed in handcuffs. A coroner determined that Owensby died of asphyxiation. EMPLOYEE DISABILITY Panic-disorder worker wins job bias lawsuit Santa Rosa, Calif. (AP)-A California state jury has awarded $6.5 million to a health care case worker who said he was denied a promotion because panic disorder prevents him from meeting clients. George Alberigi, 52, was awarded $1.5 million in lost wages and $5 million for pain and suffering and other damages. Alberigi was diagnosed in 1986 with panic disorder and agoraphobia. He accused the county of bias in failing to accommodate his disability. For most of 14 years with the county’s Human Services Department, Alberigi was allowed to interview clients by phone. In 2001, he was denied promotion to a position that required meeting clients in person. INTENTIONAL TORTS $106M for family of man slain by toxicologist wife San Diego (AP)-A California state jury awarded $106 million to the family of a man who was murdered by his wife, a former county toxicologist. Most of the sum-$100 million-came in a punitive damages verdict against Kristen Rossum, 29, who is serving a life sentence for murdering Greg de Villers with an overdose of the painkiller fentanyl that investigators believe she stole from work. The jury also awarded actual damages of $6 million, for which Rossum was found 75% liable and the county 25% liable. The punitive damages verdict, which does not apply to the county, was awarded to prevent Rossum from making a profit on her life story. PRICE-FIXING Zurich’s U.S. unit to pay $172M to settle probe Dallas (AP)-Zurich American Insurance Co. has agreed to pay nearly $172 million in a deal with nine states to settle allegations of bid-rigging and price-fixing in the commercial insurance market. Policyholders in all 50 states would receive $151.7 million in refunds, the Texas Attorney General’s office has announced. The U.S. unit of Zurich Financial Services will pay an additional $20 million to the nine states, including investigative costs and attorney fees. Regulators say the commissions were part of a scheme between the companies and brokers to inflate premiums and overcharge commercial policyholders. PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY Former executive who lost fortune gets $7.4M Portland, Maine (AP)-A Maine state jury has awarded more than $7.4 million to a retired Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. executive who blamed his bank for the loss of a fortune once valued at more than $27 million. Darrell Mayeux had hired Fleet Bank’s Private Client Group to manage the wealth he acquired when Fairchild went public in 1999. Mayeux claimed that Fleet, which has since been acquired by Bank of America Corp., failed to provide the financial advice and investment protection it promised. SHAREHOLDER SUIT Stock boost class actions settle for $42 million Louisville, KY. (AP)-A Kentucky federal judge has approved two class action settlements totaling $42 million against Fruit of the Loom Inc. The settlements stem from a pair of long-running lawsuits accusing the company’s former top officeholders of lying to analysts to boost the Bowling Green, Ky.-based Fruit of the Loom’s stock, causing purchases to be made at inflated prices. The suits were filed by people who bought stock in the company in the mid-1990s. Broadband provider pays $15 million to settle suit Santa Clara, Calif. (AP)-Broadband services provider Terayon Communication Systems Inc. has agreed to pay $15 million to settle a shareholder class action from 2000. The class action alleged that Terayon made false and misleading statements in violation of securities laws. TORTS $16M award for woman injured in manhole fall Troy, N.Y. (AP)-A New York state jury has awarded nearly $16 million to a young woman who was permanently injured when she fell into a manhole at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. Twenty-four-year-old Mary Ann Nolan was a Union College senior in January 2003 when she walked across a dark parking lot on the campus and fell hip-deep into the hole. The award includes $300,000 for past pain and suffering, $7.5 million for future pain and suffering and $8 million for future medical costs. WAGES AND HOURS University, faculty settle pay lawsuit for $17.5M Seattle (AP)-The University of Washington has agreed to give 2,800 faculty members a 2% raise and turn over nearly $17.45 million in back pay, interest and attorney fees to settle a lawsuit brought by professors. A Washington state judge ruled four months ago that the university had violated its own policy when it refused to give faculty members a 2% raise in the 2002-03 school year.

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